Why it is better to be Resilient than Adapt

Why It’s Better to Be Resilient than to Adapt

Article by Dr. Hailey Steinhauser – DC, CPN – Healthy Habit Studio

For many people, to be resilient and to adapt both seem like positive things. So what is the difference between adaptation and resilience and why does it matter? That’s what we’ll dive into next. 

Adaptation isn’t inherently bad, but oftentimes when you adapt, it happens in a way that keeps your body from working as it’s meant to. 

Our bodies are powerful and incredible! We are meant to regulate intricate systems like heart rate and digestion without conscious input. We are meant to be able to heal and respond to outside stressors at any given moment. 

Still, our bodies do have a limit as to how much it can handle and still be able to do all of these amazing things properly. 

Stressors from every direction in life can stop your body from being able to perfectly respond and heal like it’s built to. This is when adaptation comes in. 

For example, let’s say you work at an office so you’re sitting for most of the day. As you were walking to your car after work, you accidentally rolled your ankle off the curb. No broken bones, but it definitely hurts. 

To avoid the pain, without even thinking about it, you start walking with a twist in your hips and a slight limp. You shake it off because now it doesn’t hurt as bad and you go on with the rest of your day. Flash forward a few weeks and you still have that twist in your hip and you’re starting to have pain in your back that you can’t manage to get rid of. 

Yes, your body responded by adaptation to help the pain in your ankle, but it was a short term solution that resulted in long term dysfunction.

Your body subconsciously adapted to an imperfect situation as best as it could, but it ended up leading to more injury and pain down the line. Rather than accidentally adapting to imperfect situations, the goal is for the body to become resilient. 

Resilience is your body having the energy and capacity to deal with the physical and mental stressors of life, yet still function as it’s meant to.

Referring back to our example, adaptation would be just walking weird after you step off a curb poorly, brushing it off, and ending up in more pain down the line. Resilience would be having your brain and body communication functioning optimally so that your muscles and joints can heal. As they heal, those joints and muscles stay in healthy communication with your nervous system so that the rest of your body continues to perform optimally. Then, even though you had an injury and maybe dealt with some pain for a time, with resilience, your body can heal and continue to function as it was made to, rather than being stuck in bad movement patterns.  

How can I be resilient instead of just adapting?
Here’s the bottom line. 

  1. Get your spine adjusted! You must get your brain and body talking properly and chiropractic spinal adjustments are the most effective way to do this. Chiropractic spinal adjustments will activate the receptors in your joints and improve the communication between those joints and your brain so you can be resilient. This will allow your muscles to receive the right information from your brain so that they can relax and contract as they’re supposed to and not be forced to adapt. 
  2. It is key to retrain your muscles after years of adaptation. Depending on what you’ve been adapting to, you’ll need to focus on different muscles. If you’re not sure where to start with this, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hailey so she can guide this process for you in easy, manageable steps!

If you have more questions about adaptation versus resilience or you want to start the process of strengthening your body’s ability to be resilient, contact Dr. Hailey for next steps. Also, stay tuned for part two of this article where we will dive into a common example of adaptation with step by step instructions for how to reverse the process. 

Dr. Hailey Steinhauser
Doctor of Chiropractic
Certified Postural Neurologist